Despite pandemic, LA County property values rise by $63B

Gains driven by red-hot residential market

Los Angeles /
Jul.July 16, 2021 02:24 PM
L.A. County property assessor Jeff Prang (iStock, L.A. County Assessor)
L.A. County property assessor Jeff Prang (iStock, L.A. County Assessor)

Not even a devastating global pandemic can stop Los Angeles’s soaring property values.

According to a report released yesterday by the L.A. County property assessor, the 2021 overall value of county real estate, including residential, commercial and industrial properties, rose to $1.76 trillion, a gain of $62.9 billion from a year earlier.

“It’s a modest growth,” Steve Whitmore, a county spokesperson, told The Real Deal. “But it’s growth.”

It was the county’s 11th consecutive annual increase in net property values. “And considering what we’ve been through – what is it, the last 16, 17 months? – it shows that the L.A. economy is strong, and still is continuing to grow,” Whitmore added.

But officials also highlighted a more complex picture for the region’s Covid-era economy.

The nearly $63 billion increase comes largely from L.A. County’s red-hot industrial and residential markets, where warehouses and luxury properties regularly command prices in the tens of millions, while some sectors, including small businesses and hotels, continue to struggle to rebound from months of evaporated revenue.

“It’s mixed,” Whitmore said. “It’ll be some time for all this to kind of work its way out.”

Among the 2021 assessment’s losers was business personal property, a category that includes machinery, equipment, boats and aircraft and notched a $5.5 billion loss compared with 2020. Commercial aircraft were particularly hard hit as travel came to a grinding halt, and the region’s oil refineries – Southern California has seven – also saw value reductions.

The higher residential assessments also mean higher taxes, but Prang emphasized that nearly 90% of property owners “will see only the modest 1.036% adjustment prescribed by Proposition 13,” the 40-year-old state law that limits local governments’ ability to raise property taxes.

Last year’s assessor report, which reflected figures from just before the pandemic struck, counted a $96 billion increase from the previous year, a higher figure than had been projected.

The assessments are based on Jan. 1 data and include all taxable property in L.A. County.





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